The Freedom of West Lancashire is to be presented to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment at an event in Ormskirk on 22 October.
The Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Rob Bailey, will mark the event with the presentation of a ceremonial scroll to Brigadier Mike Griffiths CBE. This will be followed by a march through the town centre by the troops, supported by the Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
Freedom of the Borough was granted to the regiment following the unanimous agreement of West Lancashire Borough Council in December 2010.
The freedom entitles the regiment the right, privilege and honour of marching through the streets of West Lancashire on ceremonial occasions with “swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating and colours flying.”
There will be a special service at Ormskirk Parish Church, where soldiers will be presented with a commemorative illuminated scroll signed by civic leaders and a specially-commissioned drum major's sash featuring an embroidered West Lancashire crest and regimental badge.
Freedom of the Borough dates from the Middle Ages, when troops were not allowed to march through without the permission of the local council. These days, it is a ceremonial honour showing the ties between the borough and a particular regiment.
The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was formed in 2006 following a merger between the King's Own Royal Border Regiment, the King's Regiment and the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, together with their respective companies of the Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers and the King's Cheshire Regiment.
The event is kindly sponsored by Edge Hill University, who are providing the reception venue, H Greaves and Son Butchers, and Burscough Brewing Company, who are creating a commemorative beer.